Weight Issues Cause People to Hide
By Bonnie Pfiester, Fitness Trainer
As a fitness professional, I often feel like a Priest at confession. Over the years, I’ve heard it all. As people lose weight they begin confessing past ‘sins’. One of the most popular confessions is what people choose to avoid because of their weight.
Top on everyone’s list is taking family photos. One of the hardest things to do is to get someone who’s lost a lot of weight to come up with a “fat picture”. They all have the same response, “No one wants to get their picture taken when they’re fat.” Unfortunately, once they lose weight, they realize how much of their life was lost to just a memory.
Next on the list are weddings and reunions. Both events offer opportunities to see people you haven’t seen in a long time. If that’s not enough stress, then you add the million photographs to capture the occasion. Before you can even get home to unpack, pictures will be posted online and emailed across the country.
Other neglected activities are summer activities with the kids. Pool parties and days at the beach can be a nightmare for people who don’t feel comfortable in their own skin. Shoot, swimwear is stressful enough for skinny people, much less someone who’s carrying a few extra pounds.
If the person’s lucky enough to find a suit they like, then they still have to decide if they’re actually going to wear it. Often times the over-priced suit will never see daylight, hiding safely under a t-shirt or sundress.
Although your spouse should be the one person you’re comfortable with, many people will pass up a romantic occasion if they’re uncomfortable with their body. As one friend shared, “it’s hard to feel sexy when you are fat, tired, sweaty and out-of-breath”. Even a few pounds are enough to make a person feel self-conscious in a romantic setting.
Lastly, there are other things people miss that are extremely important in life – like a doctor’s appointment. I was shocked to hear people actually avoided going to the doctor because they feared receiving a lecture about their weight. In order to avoid the lecture, they simply avoided the doctor.
We see that in gyms as well. People avoid the gym in fear of being judged, lectured or embarrassed. Although it should be the first place to go, it’s often the last resort. Either way, both places are there to help people, yet they remain on the list of things to avoid.
What’s the good news? In my experience, people don’t have to lose all their weight in order to reap the benefits. Since people tend to let their guilt dictate their decisions, it only takes a little success before someone begins to change the way they act and feel. Once they see some progress, they begin to gain confidence again.
Even if they still have a lot to lose, they begin to feel more successful and in control because they’re headed toward their goal.
If you’ve been guilty of letting your weight interfere with your life, maybe it’s time you make some changes. Instead of sculpting a life around your body, try sculpting your body around your life.